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Predicting Impact of Nutritional Strategies on Carcase Quality

09 August 2012

Variation is inherent to living systems in the pig sector, but precision pork production can help to control growth and carcase quality.

Because feeding strategies are applied to groups of pigs, it contributes to the inefficient use of natural resources and may even amplify the variation among pigs at slaughter, according to a study by J. van Milgen, J. Noblet, J.Y. Dourmad, E. Labussière, F. Garcia-Launay and L. Brossard at the French agricultural and food research centre, INRA.

The study shows that precision pork production and precision feeding, through management of the variation among individuals, may contribute to improving the efficiency of animal production systems.

Precision pork production is based on monitoring, prediction and control.

This approach relies on the prediction of the response of the animal to the nutrient supply, the continuous monitoring of the response, and a system to control nutrient supply.

Most nutritional models of pig growth are based on the partitioning of nutrients between energy expenditure, and protein and lipid deposition.

However, the link between chemical body composition and tissue growth, tissue composition and thus carcass quality remains a challenge in modeling.

The potential of precision pork production also depends on the (real-time) information that can be obtained to control growth and carcase quality.

The full study has been published in Meat Science.

August 2012

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